Eschatology Of “Historic” Premillenniaiism -- By: Rolland D. McCune

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 18:4 (Winter 1975)
Article: Eschatology Of “Historic” Premillenniaiism
Author: Rolland D. McCune

Eschatology Of “Historic” Premillenniaiism

Third Of Three Articles

Rolland D. McCune

Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis

The central motif of the “historic” premillennial position is its posttribulational rapture of the church. Given the hermeneutical framework and the covenant doctrine of the church, one is compelled to place the church in the tribulation. This is so because tribulation saints, concerning which there is abundant evidence, must of necessity belong to the one continuing people of God who partake of the covenant of grace. This people of God is the generic church. Therefore it can be seen that the basic conclusions of “historic” premillennialism with regard to the second coming and related events were predetermined when the essential elements of covenant thinking were adopted in the areas of hermeneutics and ecclesiology.

The Second Coming In “Historic” Premillennialism

The purpose of this section is to state and analyze the principal arguments and theses of five areas of thought surrounding the second coming as held by the “historic” premillennialists. These areas are the tribulation and its relationship to the second coming of Christ; the problem of imminency as it arises in this regard; the identity and significance of the restrainer of II Thessalonians two; the time, participants and other things connected with the matter of resurrection; and the end-time judgments.

It is not the intent here to restate all the problems and answers between the pretribulationists and posttribulationists concerning the second coming. A conscious effort will be made to state concisely and analyze the more cogent posttribulational arguments, especially noting the more recent thought and development within the system.

The Tribulation Period

The basic description of “historic” premillennialism is that it is posttribulational. Thus the tribulation and the second coming of Christ are perhaps the most crucial doctrines with respect to end-time events.

The Time Of The Tribulation

The “historic” premillennial position. “Historic” premillennialists are with few exceptions futurists with regard to the tribulation and related events. An eclectic position has been put forth recently by J. Barton Payne. Over against the historical position of the preceding scholars as well as the futurism of S. R. Maitland and others, Payne proposes a synthetic approach to prophecy embodying the strong points of preterist, historicist, and futurist interpretation. By this means he sees some of the personages and activities of the tribulation as past, some...

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